The Points of Light Civic Accelerator announced today that it will invest $50,000 each in New York On Tech and PYT Funds – one nonprofit and one for-profit startup. Both are creating greater opportunities for all to succeed in the digital economy by launching new models to increase financial and digital inclusion.
The Civic Accelerator is the first accelerator and investment fund in the country focused on “civic ventures” – for-profit and nonprofit startups that include people as part of the solution to critical social problems. The goal of the accelerator is to equip each startup to seek investments and scale their social innovations.
The investment came at the end of the program’s seventh boot-camp-style startup program and investment fund. Initially launched in 2012, The Civic Accelerator receives generous support from the PwC Charitable Foundation, a founding partner, and Capital One. These two sponsors are joined by Vodaphone, Dentons US LLP, Singing for Change and official hotel sponsor, Hilton Worldwide.
For the Spring 2016 program, the Civic Accelerator convened 13 startups over 10 weeks for three in-person, boot camp sessions in Atlanta, San Francisco and Washington DC, in addition to an in-depth virtual curriculum. The participants themselves selected the two ventures that will receive $50,000 investments.
We have evolved our approach to focus on design challenges which allows us to refine the accelerator’s model to convene like-minded founders, mentors and partners concentrated on one issue area. The ventures are diverse and include models driven by financial technology, mobile applications, and innovative software. Others seek to empower communities through workforce development, job skills training and financial literacy.
New York On Tech, a nonprofit based in New York City, is committed to creating pathways into the technology industry for underrepresented students.
“New York On Tech is honored that the Spring 2016 cohort selected us for the $50K non-profit investment. We are elated to be a part of the CivicX family with ventures that are leaving a lasting impact in the communities they serve,” shared New York on Tech co-founders Jessica Santana and Evin Robinson.
PYT Funds Inc. (Pay Your Tuition), a Silver Spring, Maryland, based for-profit, is a debt reductions model for student loans that funds the gap for education at lower interest rates by using predictive data to assess risk.
“PYT Funds is happy that Points of Light and our fellow peers selected our team for the investment,” shared Stacie Whisonant, PYT Funds CEO and Founder. “As we ramp up to help as many students as possible this summer, this investment will support our growth to build additional technology infrastructure to capture our target market.”
Ayesha Khanna, founder of the Points of Light Civic Accelerator, added: “With the support of our corporate partners, faculty and mentors, we helped accelerate 13 leading impact entrepreneurs from across the country who are increasing opportunities for underserved, underbanked, and underemployed individuals and families. We are excited to see the results from our 87 graduated teams who have so far generated $31.5 million dollars in revenue and reached 4.2 million individuals to solve social problems. Together, we are disrupting what it means to be an engaged citizen and are pleased to welcome these innovators to the Points of Light network.”
In its fourth year, the Civic Accelerator has invested $700,000 in U.S.-based social entrepreneurs and has paired 87 teams with more than 150 mentors, partners and strategic advisors.
The graduated ventures in the Spring 2016 Class are:
Autism Expressed (Philadelphia, PA, For-profit) is a learning platform teaching marketable skills to empower individuals with disabilities like autism.
Benefit Kitchen (Brooklyn, NY, For-profit) is a benefit screening and financial literacy tool that provides to-the-dollar eligibility information to low-income families who need help making ends meet.
Credit Do (New York, NY, Nonprofit) is on a mission to deliver the first debt-free generation and aims to break the cycle of financial exclusion specific to youth’s patterns with credit cards, work opportunity and affordability of college.
eCredable (Alpharetta, GA, For-profit) connects consumers without credit to affordable financial services from mainstream providers.
EveryoneOn (Washington, D.C., Nonprofit) aims to eliminate the digital divide by making high-speed, low-cost Internet, computers, and free digital literacy training accessible to all unconnected Americans.
HT Mobile Apps (Detroit, MI, For-profit) is a FinTech company that creates software to help financial institutions stay relevant and fun.
LaborX (Oakland, CA, For-profit) is the LinkedIn for the LinkedOut, connecting high need populations with living wage jobs.
LearnLux (Boston, MA, For-Profit) helps Millennials learn personal finance skills through online learning tools and connects them to the resources they need to take action.
Live It To Learn It (Chicago, IL, Nonprofit) combines financial literacy classes with access to relevant financial services through the first ever teen credit union, Money Locker.
New York On Tech (New York, NY, Nonprofit) is committed to creating pathways into the technology industry for underrepresented students.
Operation Spark (New Orleans, LA, Nonprofit) rapidly prepares low opportunity individuals for careers in software development through immersive training.
PYT Funds (Silver Spring, MD, For-profit) is a debt reduction model for student loans. By using predictive data to assess risk, PYT is able to fund the gap for education at a lower interest rate.
TechCongress (San Francisco, CA, Nonprofit) is building a 21st century Congress with technology talent, training and ideas.
About the Points of Light Civic Accelerator
The Points of Light Civic Accelerator is the first accelerator program and investment fund in the country focused on “civic ventures” – for-profit and nonprofit startups that include people as part of the solution to critical social problems. The three month, boot camp-style program convenes 10-15 teams in person and online with the goal of equipping each startup to seek investments and scale their social innovation. The Civic Accelerator was launched in 2012, in partnership with Village Capital, and receives generous support from PwC Charitable Foundation, a founding partner, and Capital One. These two sponsors are joined by Vodaphone, Dentons US LLP, Singing for Change and official hotel sponsor, Hilton Worldwide. Visit cvcx.org for more information or follow the accelerator on Twitter at @civicacceleratr and across social media at #CIVICX.
About PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc.
The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., a section 501(c)(3) organization, makes charitable contributions to the people of PwC in times of financial hardship, and to nonprofit organizations that support and promote education and humanitarianism.
About Capital One
Capital One Investing for Good is committed to enhancing the well-being of individuals and families in local communities. They focus on financial wellbeing, affordable housing, skills for the 21st century and small business development. All four areas of focus strengthen communities and prepare them for robust economic futures. To learn more visit www.capitaloneinvestingforgood.com or follow them on Twitter at @yourfutureedge.
"With the support of our corporate partners, faculty and mentors, we helped accelerate 13 leading impact entrepreneurs from across the country who are increasing opportunities for underserved, underbanked, and underemployed individuals and families. We are excited to see the results from our 87 graduated teams who have so far generated $31.5 million dollars in revenue and reached 4.2 million individuals to solve social problems. Together, we are disrupting what it means to be an engaged citizen and are pleased to welcome these innovators to the Points of Light network." - Ayesha Khanna